November 15, 2012

Regarding the Nov. 8 editorial “Drawing the line”:

I had the privilege of working as an election official at a precinct in Northern Virginia. On Election Day, we had three touch-screen machines and one optical scanner for paper ballots.

Throughout the day, there were long lines for the touch screens but not for paper ballots. We could accommodate up to 15 people filling out their ballots at the same time. They came to the scanner as they finished — never all in a rush — and scanned in their votes, which were counted at the end of the day along with the votes from the touch-screen machines.

I have heard no one suggest that Northern Virginia drop the expense and security risk of the touch-screen voting machines and return to the simple, efficient and paper-trailed method of paper ballots and optical scanners. Well, here’s that suggestion from one person who loves working the polls and hopes to continue doing so for many more years.

Elizabeth C. Neher, Falls Church

In his Nov. 10 letter about ensuring voter confidence in the election process, Dennis Melamed stated that “we should fund the mechanics of an election properly.” I agree, and I have a suggestion for funding.

Each organization or individual who pays for a political ad in any media should donate one cent of every dollar spent to a central fund that would be used to support “the mechanics of an election.”

The money could be distributed based on the number of registered voters in various jurisdictions (state, county, etc.), and it could be used to purchase voting machines, hire workers and so on. Such a system would allow all candidates to support the election process without having input in the process itself.

Stephen Marschall, Burke